The United State Government on Thursday said it has not designated Boko Haram as a terrorist organisation because the insurgency is principally targeted at portraying the Nigerian government as ineffective.
The Assistant Secretary for African Affairs at the U.S Department of State, Ambassador Jonnie Carson, disclosed this during a continent-wide teleconference.
Mr. Carson said Boko Haram is not a homogenous organisation and therefore does not qualify to be labeled a terrorist group.
“Boko Haram is an organisation trying to discredit the Nigerian government and trying to show the government as ineffective in protecting its citizens,” he said.
He, however, conceded that the U.S “constantly keep it (Boko Haram) under review” and that is why it has declared three Boko Haram leaders as terrorists.
In late June, the U.S Government placed Abubakar Shekau, Abubakar Adam Kambar, and Khalid al-Barnawi on its list of global terror.
“These three leaders were declared as terrorists because we believe they have established contacts and broader network with foreign terrorist organisations. They have sought funding and materials,” he said.
In the build up to the November 6 U.S Presidential Election, Mr. Carson spoke extensively on U.S affairs in Africa.
According to him, the U.S’s predominant activities are targeted at helping “Africa deal with its ongoing security challenges” because crises take away resources meant for development. But he said the country’s larger aim is to help Africa grow its economy, especially agriculture.
On the recent attacks by Islamists on U.S Embassies and diplomats in some African countries, Mr. Carson’s comments suggested
that the “provocative video” was only a means for the attackers to show their interest, which is not necessarily religious but to force U.S government out of those countries